China Bears Make Up Numbers and Scenarios Where US Stays Ahead of China

Bloomberg Economics has published a forecast which shows that China’s economy will pass the US economy in about ten years. However, they push a study by economists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of Chicago suggested that between 2010 and 2016, China’s “true” GDP growth was about 1.8 percentage points below what the official data suggested.

The Bloomberg Economic Scenarios:
1. Bloomberg Economics bullish case for China. China passes USA about 2030.
2. Bloomberg Economics base case. China passes USA about 2030.
3. Bloomberg Economics has a combination US bull case and China bear case where US-China stay exactly matched through 2040-2050.
4. Bloomberg Economics has some financial crisis scenario for China which prevents China from passing the US
5. Bloomberg Economics scenario where the China has lying numbers. This means in reality China never passes the US even though official numbers will not show this case.

It is not that big a deal if a country drops down in the overall GDP rankings.

India has passed several developed countries in overall exchange rate GDP. India ranks 6th in exchange rate GDP. However, France, South Korea, Russia and other lower ranked countries have more global influence and stronger military influence than India.

Sources – wikipedia, bloomberg
Written By Brian Wang,

89 thoughts on “China Bears Make Up Numbers and Scenarios Where US Stays Ahead of China”

  1. I didn't google for definitions, these are my words. If you find them "problematic" or if your feelings got hurt, just say so. America's dysgenic problem is not one specific group. America's cultural decay is complex and not the fault of specific groups. If you don't agree that American culture is decaying just say that instead of doing this effeminate thing of hiding behind loaded questions.

    Re: China, yes obviously the CPC did trash China's historic culture and is forcibly assimilating minorities into 21st century Han norms. That is a tragedy. But US-style corporate consumerism is destroying cultures on a global scale (including America's own historic cultures).

  2. Uh-huh. I think you know I wasn't asking for you to google for definitions.

    Let's make it explicit – who do you believe are breeding bad genes into the US, and which/whose culture is harming the US?

    And BTW, are you aware of what the CCP did to most of traditional Chinese culture in the name of party worship; and continues to do to minority cultures within China in order to create homogeneity? That's not cultural decay, it's cultural genocide.

  3. Dysgenics is when human capital quality diminishes due to bad breeding. Cultural decay is when human capital quality and social technics diminish due to bad norms, beliefs, and roles.

  4. You’re forgetting the fact that political agitation against the rich is being used as a tool for political expanding power.

  5. China is toast because the Bretton Woods system the US created that countries like China need to economically prosper from is toast.

    Wu maus supported by the Chinese Ministry of Propaganda (or whatever euphanism they like to call themselves) don't like hearing this.

    As for GDP numbers, they don't matter. They are just a (poor) reflection of an economy that increasingly is being exposed as yet another sham by 'professional' economists upon the world. Much like how the NAR paid economists always end their statements with 'Now is a good time to buy!' or something similar…lest they lose their jobs.

    Even so….China has cheated on their economics numbers for decades, which makes GDP totally meaningless with regards to them.

  6. work culture is a bit nebulous…
    i.e. Japan's salarymen is maybe not a good examplar of the ideal 'work' lifestyle — that many would aspire to…
    maybe more about entrepreneurial…

  7. Have they solved their pollution problem? Odd how one of the ways we could tell they idled some industrial capacity during Covid (presumably due to lockdowns) was by how their air quality improved for a while.

    And their ghost towns generally aren't anywhere near fully occupied, though some now have some people in them, if that's all you mean. Chinese ghost towns mostly aren't built to meet demand for residences, workplaces, shopping, schools, etc – they're about giving people a way to invest in property – a really big thing culturally as well as financially.

  8. Seriously? I've never actually known anyone like that. It's sort something that you just see on the internet. Like AIDS, or Vampires, or something.

  9. Curious what you mean by "dysgenics" and "cultural decay", since those are by no means as clear as "fertility" and "debt" or even "middle income trap".

  10. China might have the ability, but certainly not any desire to do this.

    The CCP goes more in the opposite direction – not wanting to be seen as or treated as anything less than the greatest (or shortly to become the greatest) in every way.

  11. Cheap energy is good, providing it isn't 'cheap' due to externalizing costs onto health or destruction of other sources of wealth.

    Cheap capital assets – cheap relative to what or who – and if so, how do you get this?

    Cheap labor is flat out wrong. We want high employment rates and very well paid people doing high-value tasks and spending their money mostly on goods and services produces in the nation – a healthy circulation of money.

  12. I get that idea, but living in a blue area all my life and seeing many people I know and care about get caught up in this gender confusion, I can't help but be horrified.

  13. From what I hear, things have changed a lot in the last few years, somewhat back toward the original heavy-handed-control state. Outside China, we mostly see this in China throwing its economic weight around any time anyone "insults" the CCP.

  14. Shhhh…. dude. Don't disrupt the trans plot.
    If the right wing actually said "Hey, we want to take all the lefty wimpy soy-boys in the country and cut their genitals off before they can breed." then they'd probably encounter some resistance.
    But if a handful of bribed celebrities and well crafted media can convince them to do it voluntarily?

  15. I've said before that if the world really was run by a secret cabal of multi-billionaires, then what we saw on TV/movies/pop-culture of "the rich" would depict people with a lifestyle of maybe $1 million per year, max.

    We would see people with 3 Mercedes vehicles, 3 houses with up to 500 sq. m internal area, maybe a ski chalet they share with their cousins… They'd have a nice life, sure. They'd fly to nice holidays, stay in 5 star resorts, wear $1000 suits… nah, go nuts $3000.

    You know, like how rich people were depicted in 1960s TV. (Suspiciously…)

    And that would be the level that people would see as "the captains of industry" and "movie stars" and "inherited wealth".

    And people would think that isn't really that much better than what I've got. Or at least not much more than my cousin Steph. And they've consider themselves pretty well off and there wouldn't be any political agitation against the rich.

  16. If you want to subtract debt you then have to add back in assets.

    And if you want to compare this to output, then you have to look at change per year rather than absolute values.

  17. Sometimes, like tic tac toe, the only winning move is not to play.

    There are lots and lots of cases where any attempt to predict the future will either pretend precision to the point of being fake, or have error bars so huge as to make the prediction fairly useless.

    So instead of chewing up valuable 1s and 0s making useless fake graphs, do something else.

  18. ah. the big question…
    unproductive people plus incentives =
    a) spark of initiative + greatness….
    b) negative realization of mediocrity…
    and scale that up to a country…

  19. agreed. but 'Incentives Matter'. A system that allows, even encourages, if not consistently rewards, Individualism, will always have many great seeds that, just maybe, take root against the odds of regulation, colleague ridicule, prevailing NIMBYism-ish attitudes, etc… the key is: in hoping that the seeds, such a systems allows, find a space, germinate, and grow are actually inspirational, pro-tech, and commercially viable. Many other systems have such seeds that are bent on anarchy, hedonism, and entitlement… being an Individual vs being an Influencer.. is a world of difference…

  20. reminds me of old pre-IronC East European/ Russian lifestyle slogan:
    "…we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us…"

  21. And then you woke up, tears running down your face as your desperate dream of the fall of the USA failed to happen yet again. You are doomed to a lonely life filled with endless disappointment.

  22. China more than Japan strikes me as having the necessary structure to pull off such a long term strategy.

    You can avoid enmity by keeping your success to yourself. Before every granny was on the internet, the faces of the successful were a well curated set largely on television. Now everyone gets to see all the varied people flaunting the trappings of real or imagined success, that is another driver responsible for where we are.

  23. I'm thinking of the election of Adolf Hitler who then kills many of his own people and fights a total war to the death. What the hell happened?

  24. Ah, yeah, you're absolutely right. There should never be any of reason for that kind of action. Nobody should ever feel those types of things to be necessary, or there's obviously a problem.

    There are definitely people in the U.S. who are negligent and don't voice their opinions about how politics and money affect the world around them. Plenty of people like that. While they aren't all bad, saying nothing can also be a complicit act. There are also people who make their voices heard in the best ways they can, though, to speak out against imperialism (anyone who thinks imperialism is gone is living in a fantasy world). Lots of nations still practice it and all of them need to stop. Of course, whispering doesn't get us anywhere. We have to speak up.

    Nobody has ever reached enlightenment by taking the life of another, nor by causing any kind of suffering. I wish that on no one.

  25. It all boils down to organizational ability, creative destruction, and banking. Do not be distracted by any other metrics or concerns.

    There is a reason the world sends its elite children to study STEM in (1) the US, and (2) Western Europe.

    Now, if we could somehow find a way to defund all the *-studies and *-ism courses at our universities…

    Oh, well, ingrates and leeches have to find somewhere to get paid by cowardly politicians…

  26. Yes but does China have 10 years being put on puberty blockers and teens put on hormones? They can have all the GDP they want but (hopefully) they'll never get to the stage of True Progress we're seeing unfold in the US.

  27. too much fear mongering about china growth in media. So what if surpasses the US GDP ?!!!! . Being the top GDP is no goal by itself. US can maintain its self interest and the interest of its people and the interest of its allies through maintaining a strong pact. Slowing china growth means pressuring more of its population to stay poor ….. What a shameful thing to wish for by societies claiming to own the higher ground of noble values.

  28. agreed. if the government just allowed any old test pilot to blow themselves up, any old chemical plant to 'experiment with whatever', or any old pharma company to easily get an emergency waiver for such and such experimental drug — we would be living in a litigous, NIMBY-scared, hyper-testosterone-saturated, and just too laissez-faire 'civilized' society – even if the effects could be contained. There is another way: I encourage industries to create 'sandboxes' offshore (off-world?) (techno-Guantanamos) where there is political, social, and physical distancing from its sponsor country. I want the next anti-ageing, new propulsion, and agricultural anti-pest/productive solution as much as anyone, but creating an industry that feeds on the desperate, obsessive, profit-fanatical, and life-indifferent narcissistic/ sociopath is just a 'society' slippery-slope too far. There is Freedom and then there is Total-Other-Indifference. As the tobacco industry learned the hard way, there is no 'real' free will and we should accept that people will often make semi-informed/ semi-irrational decisions that have dire and disruptive consequences that affect more than just the One (a good reason why many contractual arrangements have 'cooling down' periods).

  29. The first one is the most important as it drives productivity in many ways. The Trump administration policies succeeded in driving down energy costs, in six months the Biden administration polices have increased them rather significantly.

    Capital assets cut both ways. Most of them (real estate, investments) you want them to be appreciating in value. Since you get to offset your taxes on the the others through depreciation, a pure price calculation isn't a good guide. I will say that if you are starting a new brick and mortar business, this is where your upfront costs happen.

    Automation provides the cheapest labor and low skill jobs are the easiest to automate. IT has already developed offshoring capabilities; with emerging capabilities like telehealth, offshoring may come to a number of new industries. Financial managers and health care will likely be significantly impacted.

  30. I have been to China on several occasions over a period from 1990 to 2010. The rate of change in China has to be experienced to be believed, there is no comparable rate in the west. From what I have seen and experienced the US has lost this race, and did do some time ago. The cultural differences are profound and Chinese people impress with their work ethic and their belief that all should rise, not just the individual. The Chinese are not living in fear of the Communist Party, indeed the government is only to aware that unless they continue to deliver it is they, not the people, who will suffer. The US has been very helpful to China, the US exported vast amounts of manufacturing work and expertise to China because it made financial sense to do so. I suspect that is a choice that the US will come to regret.

  31. I'm not sure I understand your anti-elite vibe.
    If you're in one of the top G7 countries, you can pretty-much do whatever you want. All skills and abilities can transfer into any level of money, influence, and prestige. Carpenter? At the low end you can be into tract-housing all your life, making $32/hr – or be a foreman – or be a custom builder – or run a small carpentry firm- or get into a general contractor and move up – or be in the political part of a Union – or run a Union and gain political influence – or teach carpentry at the local JC – or go to trades shows and influence products and services – or get into and eventually run the companies that do products and services… the access and influence of someone is endless given the drive and interest in 'doing what it takes'. These are the people (except for the idle rich) that make and break the values in top G7 countries (US, Canada, UK, and to a lesser extent in Germany). Each of these people have made their own path and have transferred their own values to their profession (it may be selfish or it maybe pro-industry). The reality is that it is the non-elites that allow the elites to move up and are therefore the makers of the Elites. I doubt that anyone has so much power that they can unilaterally just sway values that did not already exist. I know that there is a cartoonish movement – the Where's My JetPack. A group of super-pro-tech people who think the world should be further along tech-wise, without examining…

  32. That was tried 209 years ago. The present situation is that American corporations own our assets ( eg Weyerhaeuser purchase of McMillan Bloedel, Exxon's long term ownership of Imperial Oil, Gary Bettman's control of the NHL…) so there is no benefit or profit to sending the army again.

  33. Not without the USA or the West, but with the USA and the West not killing innocents.
    Why do people have to throw planes against your skyscrapers for you to start to think about others?
    This should not be necessary

    Just sayin

  34. nope.
    Its more about: Labour productivity and utilisation, Labour compensation per hour worked, Multifactor productivity, Unit labour costs, vacation available per year per seniority, expectation of retirement age and seniority, and to a lesser degree, GDP per hour worked. High GDP could be just because a country is more services-oriented or is blessed with valuable land or resources. Its more about 'valuable work' attitude.

  35. There is a conspiracy theory floating around that for 3 decades Japan has been doing exactly that.
    Late 1980s: Japan is soon to overtake USA, US becomes increasingly hostile and threatens tariffs and trade war.
    1990: Major Japanese recession, USA forgets about it for a while
    Japan: Hang on… get me the guys at the national statistics bureau…

  36. Our on-paper-educated people are less duped by nonsense and less self-duped by wonky new age medicine beliefs

    With two words changed I find I can't believe your comment.

  37. As WWII showed us, totalitarian regimes can be far tougher and more resilient than you would expect. Especially when in conflict with outsiders.

  38. And big error bars are exactly what you should have for a prediction that isn't trying to claim too much precision.

  39. The 80s? Not the stagflation and mass regulation of the 1970s?

    On the other hand:
    I'm not seeing a break in the 70s OR 80s per capita.

  40. "… Access to as much education, training, and experience to get your preferred life …" Ah. my favourite political subject: the value of getting $20k – $60k+ in debt for every year of university in a 'free' country. Worth it? Better way? I remember back in the 90s and 00s, my older and younger peers, respectively, would take 4-year degress in 6+ years, plus 'dabble' in grad school and such… the grad from the 90s had nearly no debt, the 00s grad is still paying off their $100k+ debt – my how that has changed over more than a decade. One of the biggest changes in society was the deregulation/ major-jumping/ private-public tertiary education debates. Now that is the measure of a quality country — the effectiveness of their higher educations (frat time or path to reseach and breakthrough greatness?)

  41. (When our government decided stability was more important than growth.)

    I think that it was the voting population that decided stability was more important than growth. Anyone in charge during a recession will usually get voted out.

    "It's the economy, stupid"

    The voters punish a recession far harsher than they reward a boom. So slow, steady growth is the target.

  42. The US needs the following to stay on top:

    • Cheap energy.
    • Cheap capital assets.
    • Cheap labor.

    Now how does it gets those things?

  43. Other than Cuba and North Korea, which other countries are in category 4? Should be easy to mention a few since there are so many.

  44. "The USA may be free, but the USA supports lots of dictatorships…"

    Like the former USSR ? 🙂

    The truth is democracy is a fairly recent phenomenon in world history and most of humanity was under some form of dictatorship up to the 20th century.

    So it was like normal if you were one of the few democracies around that your diplomats/trade representatives would end up dealing with Kings/Autocrats/Dictators/Tyrants in the outside world 🙁

  45. Hasn't there been recent reporting that some of the recent quarter reports for China are a bit lower than expected, considering China should be powering ahead out of covid, despite the recent blocking moves by western countries? It will be interesting to see if this is a temporary blip or something more structural.

  46. They should understate their number to allow the irrational to believe they're #1 forever. It's win-win for China, it does not negatively impact them being pretend #2, and pretend #1 does not have a reason to go out of their way to sabotage them at every turn.

  47. If you subtract the national debt from the GDP wouldn't that be an accurate assessment of economic output?

  48. China is certainly developing faster and will reach at least 3x US GDP or higher. There is a bear case for the US too. The US bear case is dysgenics, debt, cultural decay, declining fertility.

    China bear case is low fertility, debt and middle income trap.

    China government seems more effective at solving big problems. They solved severe pollution problem and lack of modern infrastructure. Most of the "China ghost towns" are occupied now.

  49. I know I've asked you this before, but I can't find the pld threads, so I'll track this one: what's your ideal world look like? Things like "anything without the USA or West" don't count. I mean for everyone, what's ideal? Real thought experiment.

  50. Totalitarian regimes are geared to fight for survival against their own population. See for example Cuba right now.

  51. Good analogy would be charts of US debt. They were slowly rising and then along came the covid spending binge.

    Obviously nobody predicted the spending binge. The point is that bumpy lines in the past cast serious doubt on the smooth lines of the future.

    Put another way- modelling the future is hard and much of what happens is the result of one-off events (housing crashes, virii, etc).

  52. Ugh… yeah, got us there, man. >_< We've historically backed ourselves into a corner on that one.

  53. "By the year 2100 my income will be between $150k and $700k"

    Oh really? Quite the error bars there.

  54. The past is bumpy because of contingent events. If your future curve is bumpy, you're assuming a particular sequence of contingent events, and you shouldn't be doing that unless maybe you're a time traveler. 

    If you were doing a Monte Carlo analysis, you'd be looking at the average of a bunch of possible futures, and the average would end up smooth again.

  55. Bloomberg Economics also crap on "Crypto" 7 years ago, look where we are at now. today Bloomberg economics change their tune on "Crypto". also same thing with TESLA 4 years well as 2016 presidential election, they were against TRUMP. in 2050 China "BRI" will be fully complete. in 2035, china will fully complete its high speed rail. while all nation else where struggle to built that kind of highspeedrail in term of distance coverage. USA is slowly hurting itself with "CRT" being taught in public school. and affirmative action which take away more spot from university. while china just get the best students. instead of quote/agenda. "DJI" is the world most advance consumers drones you can buy for a fair price , company was founded in China. this trend will cont. as America adopting more "woke" policy.

  56. I wouldn't trust any curves which are bumpy in the future; it means that whoever is simulating is computing a lot more significant figures than is warranted…

  57. Production is becoming less and less a matter of human labor force, and more the size and power of your heavy equipment and the number and speed of your robots.
    If we get back to fundamentals and manufacture in volume with quality at low prices competitive for selling globally, I see no reason we have to be overtaken.
    And I think we have advantages: Learning Chinese is hard. Our educated people are less duped by nonsense and less self-duped by wonky traditional medicine beliefs, are more likely to understand and respect the scientific method and less likely to cheat to get the result they want impeding progress.
    Certainly there are disadvantages. There are a lot of places we have made enemies. And many manufactures are just out for a small market so they can gouge. And many American manufacturers have gotten wealthy off thin air by using advertising where the adverting exceeds the price to make the crap. Things like shavers, breakfast cereal, toothbrushes, foam mattresses, perfume, and deodorant. This is actually destructive to an economy…though describing how would take several pages.

  58. No matter their growth ,China's number one goal is to emit Carbon so that the ice caps melt, that along with the extinction of all animals used for China folk medicine, which is most animals.

  59. They are making reasonable scenarios and not making up number, China does. One way or the other, China system of government is unsustainable and too controlled, and despite their clear guidemap of development and world domination, they are going to fail.

  60. It doesn’t matter much outside self esteem and war. Hopefully there will never need to a bullet and bomb building contest with the CCP, but totalitarian regimes are geared to fight for survival. We should be forever vigilant lest freedom founder.

  61. Our economy started stalling back in the 80's. That was well before Marxists had any real influence in US policy.

    It was really a shift in elite preferences towards stability, (To maintain their own relative position in society.) over growth, resulting in the heavy hand of regulation landing on everything innovative.

  62. Brett Bellmore wrote: "My own opinion is that China's relative rise is less a consequence of them doing well, than it is of the West economically self-sabotaging by abandoning basic economic principles that actually WORK, but are no fun for the elites in power."

    Me: It's the miracle of Marxism. No matter how many times it fails, there are a multitude of useful idiots who will fight to your death to try again. And their current fashion trend is black clothes & black masks.

  63. That's a slogan that was made by a Jesuit priest. It should send shivers down your spine at the implications even if there were no sex abuse scandals. Brainwashing and indoctrination that starts early in a child's life is the hardest conditioning to break. Which explains a lot of things about the government-run schools.

  64. China has 4x times the population of the USA
    More than that actually
    And Chinese people work hard, much harder than lazy fat americans
    So it is just a matter of time before China finishes off the USA
    I would say 6 years

    Just my two cents


  65. The USA may be free, but the USA supports lots of dictatorships around the world
    So your point about freedom is moot

  66. GDP PPP numbers are based on real consumption (usage of steel, number of internet users) and so on and show that China has already passed the USA in year 2014.
    The USSR never arrived at half of USA GDP, China now is at 80% and accelerate
    When they will arrive at 100% of USA GDP they will push the yuan as currency of reserve and this will kill off the USA dollar and and the USA supremacy worldwide
    Which is long overdue.
    Down to the USA!
    USA vampire empire must collapse soon!

    Why are the twin towers mad?
    They ordered pepperoni pizza but all they got was plain.

    Just sahying!

  67. The only economic comparison between China and the West that I have much faith in is the Big Mac Index.

  68. They have a population that's over four times that of the US. They'd 'surpass' the US if their per capita GDP were equal to that of Albania. So, of course they're likely to 'surpass' the US at some point, unless they have a revolution and societal collapse.

    Now, as a totalitarian state, they can accomplish some amazing things in limited areas, while still being quite poor, because the central government is actually capable of deciding to throw an insane percentage of their economy at something considered more important that, say, basic sanitation, or people not starving.

    Something our own government can't (yet?) do, thankfully.

    But their shot at 'surpassing' us by any criteria is mostly due to our own self-sabotage, not their incredible performance. If our economy were still growing at historical levels, instead of having stalled in the 1980's, (When our government decided stability was more important than growth.) they wouldn't have a ghost of a chance of catching up.

  69. It's not like a totalitarian state publishing fake economic numbers is facially absurd, or unprecedented. 

    Didn't we learn after the fall of the USSR that their official economic stats were fake? Often even the central government itself didn't have real numbers, because everybody down the chain was faking things to avoid being punished for underachieving goals they'd been given.

    But a key point here is that, while the *size* of the Chinese economy is likely to exceed that of the US at some point, they happen to have a much larger population. So that's consistent with their remaining a much poorer society on average than the US, and having far less money available for discretionary projects.

    My own opinion is that China's relative rise is less a consequence of them doing well, than it is of the West economically self-sabotaging by abandoning basic economic principles that actually WORK, but are no fun for the elites in power.

  70. depends on how early you get to them.
    10 – 12-ers are highly suggestible, malleable, and
    Wasn't there some UK show back in the 50s…
    "…give me the 6-year old and I'll give you the Man…" — presuming your value system was set at that time based on your current circumstances…

  71. perhaps. but hopeful and creative People -often- become hopeless and morose and drudgery-accepting under even moderate/transient scarcity, indifference, and mild repression… and thus the slide to unfree and unproductive – very contagious.

  72. Agreed. Many blame the government for the woes, inequality, and lack of success of a country.. but honestly, it's the People. A culture of ambition, work ethic, and consumerism, just is, somehow able to become free and prosperous. You can't legislate a country's success… only promote its 'grass roots' fundamental values.

  73. depends what kind of country you are:
    1) Free and productive, like US, Canada, UK, Germany…
    2) Unfree and productive, like China and a few other southeast asian countries
    3) Free and unproductive, like France, Italy, Spain…
    4) Unfree and unproductive, like most everywhere else

  74. I think its more about culture than anything else to assess a country's 'overall quality'. Personal career choice. Able to consume, travel, and experience a wide variety. Access to as much education, training, and experience to get your preferred life. Live in any place that you can afford. Access to any leisure, entertainment, and distraction.
    I call it the 'earned hedonism' effect. Learn hard. Work hard. play hard. All else is numbers, statistics, and economic navel-gazing.

  75. There's compelling evidence that China has indeed overstated its GDP. It's many studies, including by Harry X. Wu. As it happens, the same case can be made for India (e.g. Arvind Subramanian's research). I think China will eventually pass the US, but it will likely be in the mid-2030s at the earliest and I don't think they will get much bigger than that.

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